The Illustrated London Reading Book eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 377 pages of information about The Illustrated London Reading Book.

“Here stood the oak-tree on which an arrow, shot by Sir Walter Tyrrel at a stag, glanced and struck King William II., surnamed Rufus, on the breast; of which stroke he instantly died, on the 2nd of August, 1100.

“King William II., surnamed Rufus, being slain, as before related, was laid in a cart belonging to one Purkess, and drawn from hence to Winchester, and buried in the cathedral church of that city.

“That where an event so memorable had happened might not hereafter be unknown, this stone was set up by John Lord Delaware, who had seen the tree growing in this place, anno 1745.”

Stony Cross is a favourite spot for pic-nic parties in the summer.  It lies seven miles from Ringwood, on a wide slope among the woods.  From the road above, splendid views over the country present themselves.

[Illustration:  STONY CROSS, NEW FOREST.]

* * * * *


[Illustration:  Letter T.]

    The spearman heard the bugle sound,
      And cheerily smiled the morn;
    And many a brach, and many a hound,
      Attend Llewellyn’s horn.

    And still he blew a louder blast,
      And gave a louder cheer: 
    “Come, Gelert! why art thou the last
      Llewellyn’s horn to hear?

    “Oh, where does faithful Gelert roam—­
      The flower of all his race! 
    So true, so brave—­a lamb at home,
      A lion in the chase?”

    That day Llewellyn little loved
      The chase of hart or hare;
    And scant and small the booty proved,
      For Gelert was not there.

    Unpleased Llewellyn homeward hied,
      When, near the portal-seat,
    His truant Gelert he espied,
      Bounding his lord to greet.

    But when he gained the castle-door,
      Aghast the chieftain stood;
    The hound was smear’d with gouts of gore—­
      His lips and fangs ran blood!

    Llewellyn gazed with wild surprise,
      Unused such looks to meet;
    His favourite check’d his joyful guise,
      And crouch’d and lick’d his feet.

    Onward in haste Llewellyn pass’d
      (And on went Gelert too),
    And still where’er his eyes were cast,
      Fresh blood-gouts shock’d his view!

    O’erturn’d his infant’s bed he found,
      The blood-stain’d cover rent,
    And all around the walls and ground
      With recent blood besprent.

    He call’d his child—­no voice replied;
      He search’d—­with terror wild;
    Blood! blood! he found on every side,
      But nowhere found the child!

    “Hell-hound! by thee my child’s devour’d!”
      The frantic father cried,
    And to the hilt his vengeful sword
      He plunged in Gelert’s side!

    His suppliant, as to earth he fell,
      No pity could impart;
    But still his Gelert’s dying yell
      Pass’d heavy o’er his heart.

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The Illustrated London Reading Book from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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